Salisbury Man Stole Car Parked in Front of Gas Station, Police Say

Court records say Joshua Todora, 29, was arrested early Monday outside the Wine & Spirits store on Route 412 in Lower Saucon Township.

By Jack Tobias

In a case that covers several geographical bases in the Lehigh Valley, a Salisbury Township man was arrested in Lower Saucon Township after police found him asleep at the wheel and charged him with stealing a car outside a Bethlehem Township gas station/convenience store.

Court records say Joshua Todora, 29, was taken into custody early Monday outside the Wine & Spirits store on Route 412. He is accused of stealing a 2003 yellow Dodge Neon about five hours earlier outside a Sunoco gas station/convenience store.

The female driver left the car running with the keys in the ignition and went into the store to buy a sandwich around 9 p.m. Sunday. When she came out, the car was gone, the records say.

Store surveillance video showed a man later identified as Todora get into the car and drive off, going east on Easton Avenue.

Police put out an all-points bulletin, and around 2:05 a.m., Lower Saucon Officer James Connell spotted the Neon outside the Wine & Spirits store, which is part of the Creekside Market Place, 1848 Leithsville Road (Route 412).

The car was running but locked, the radio was playing and the driver -- later identified as Todora -- was asleep at the wheel, Connell writes in a criminal complaint. The complaint also says:

The officer recognized clothing that was described in the all-points bulletin -- a dark hooded sweatshirt, a black overcoat with two white stripes across the chest and rear shoulders, and a black duffel bag. Todora was wearing the sweatshirt, and the coat and duffel bag were on the passenger seat.

Police needed to use a lock-out tool to get the car open. While this went on, Todora woke up and tried to drive away. But Connell broke a car window and removed Todora from the vehicle.

Todora's address is listed as 46 Birch Drive. The home is in Salisbury but has an Emmaus mailing address, online Lehigh County property records show.

Todora was charged with robbery of a motor vehicle, a level-one felony. He also was charged with unauthorized use of automobiles and other vehicles, drivers required to be licensed and receiving stolen property.

He was arraigned at 5:10 a.m. Monday by on-duty District Judge Robert Hawke of Lehigh Township and committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $50,000 bail.


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